Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) collected £9.8bn in extra revenue through tax investigations into the UK’s largest businesses last year, up 12 per cent from £8.7bn in 2017-18.
Analysis published today by law firm Pinsent Masons showed that the biggest element of this was £6bn from tax investigations into valued added tax (VAT) and £2.6bn in underpaid corporation tax.
Pinsents said the increase is being driven by HMRC’s focus on the underpayment of tax by major financial services and technology businesses.
Stuart Walsh, tax partner at Pinsents, said: “Bigger UK and foreign businesses are going to find themselves under continued scrutiny from HMRC over the next year.
“The new government’s spending pledges mean HMRC and the treasury will be under pressure to raise more money. The view is that big businesses are not being put off investing in the UK because of the tax environment so that gives HMRC scope to continue to push very hard wherever it sees the possibility of underpaid tax.”
A spokesperson for HMRC said: “HMRC makes sure that all businesses pay the tax due under the law. Last year we generated more than £34 billion for the UK’s vital public services through enforcing the rules.”